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May 31, 2019

National Oceanography Centre & UB Sign M.O.U.

The University of Belize and the National Oceanography Centre in the U.K. signed a memorandum of understanding on Thursday to advance marine science research in Belize. Both entities recognize the crucial role marine science plays in the sustainable use of clean energy, minerals and other resources and the signing formalises an already positive and productive partnership.  The objective is that the project will enhance the quality of life for the people of Belize. News Five’s Duane Moody reports.   


Duane Moody, Reporting

A memorandum of understanding was signed between the National Oceanography Centre and the University of Belize which will see both institutions develop joint training, research projects and technical programmes for world class marine science. The transfer of knowledge is expected to benefit local, regional and global communities. The N.O.C. is based in the United Kingdom.


Stacey Felgate

Stacey Felgate, Coastal Bio-Geo Chemist, National Oceanography Centre

“Our research looks at the global climate cycle and specifically in Belize, we are looking at how different land uses and land management strategies can impact what happens in the water chemistry in the river because eventually that flows downstream into the coastal zone. And obviously as an oceanographer, that’s of a lot of interest to our centre. So these are global questions and Belize is this natural environmental where it has this pristine, varied, ecologically and environmentally system and it hasn’t been degraded to the extent of a lot of the rest of the world yet. So in terms of our science, this is a globally important question that can only be supported by scientists here to do the research in their own country.”


UB President Clement Sankat says that the new partnership strengthens the services offered by the national university to its students, in terms of studies relating to water quality and pollution.


Clement Sankat

Clement Sankat, President, UB

“In our transformational plan for the University of Belize, we want to put research as one of the central pillars of our university and that should be the central pillar of any good university. We are known for teaching; we need to build our capacity for research. And this project, for me, is very heartening in that it is going to build capacity for research—certainly research on studies relating to water, water quality, pollution and the impacts for example of water quality and marine life. These are real challenging issues. And we are building capacity by doing a couple things, by strengthening our laboratories so that we can measure water and water quality, training our young Belizean students, giving them exposure to scientific techniques that can help them with research and data gathering that is required.”


Assistant Professor Abel Carillas says the additional human resources and laboratory capacity will assist the institution to collect data and solve problems affecting the environment in Belize. Carillas shares details on the projects.


Abel Carillas

Abel Carillas, Assistant Professor, University of Belize

“In this particular project, we are focusing on the Belize River watershed. We are looking at the different land uses because of course there is agriculture, there is forest extraction, community expansion and so forth. And all these activities to a certain extent impact the quality of the water and eventually the quality of the marine environment. Our marine environment is important for the economy of Belize and we have a vested interested in the university to assist in the conservation of the marine environment.”


Duane Moody for News Five.

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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